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  1. #1
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  2. #2

    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    So whatís your opinion about the short article Joe?
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  3. #3
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    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    To quote Michael
    "Itís OK"
    Rob
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  4. #4
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    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    So whatís your opinion about the short article Joe?
    Itís great, but more important to know what you think. Youíre the reviewer. Iím just a consumer.
    Last edited by joeinid; January 14, 2021 at 02:05 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    MQA is like that article....i can take it or leave it. not worth taking any stand over.

    is the world better because of MQA or that article?

    likely the world does not care a whit.

  6. #6
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    MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Funny, the ones who say they donít care about MQA, insist on having it as part of the alphabet soup when buying a new DAC.




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  7. #7

    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Like everything else in Audio, "You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own set of facts".

    As I already mentioned elsewhere, the Tidal and MQA can sound great to some ears depending on their preferred genre of music and taste in overall sound presentation. My music taste and ears do not align with MQA.
    Serge

  8. #8

    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    There was no meat on the bones of that article. It was like eating cotton candy when you are hungry and hoping it will fill you up. I kept thinking there must be more to the article, but there wasnít.

    They conducted a poll, but they never mention the number of people that responded to the poll. Because of the lack of context, you have no idea if the poll was large enough to be statistically
    significant.

    My take away is that the author isnít happy with how many audiophiles donít like MQA and donít take it seriously. He appears to be telling MQA supporters that itís OK to say you like MQA files.
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  9. #9
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    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    same site, Nov 16, 2020. It still doesn't prove anything, if you are a Micheal fanboy most of his fans will support his taste.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
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    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    I like/love MQA. I love Qobuz, both regular and hi res. Having or not having MQA is not a deal breaker but if available, Iíll happily take it.

    As for the article, it proves nothing. Just like some reviews that Iíve read. You canít rely on others for your opinion. Experience a piece (hardware or software) for yourself and make up your own mind.
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  11. #11

    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    I pay for both Quobuz and Tidal so I can listen to MQA files if I desire. When you started this thread Joe, I halfway expected for you to provide a list of MQA files you think are great sounding. That would actually be an interesting thread if we could get forum members to list MQA files they think are truly outstanding.
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  12. #12
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    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    I listen to music, not MQA. I even stream 320kbps music and thoroughly enjoy it too. Iím not one to obsess about only the highest quality streams. I listen to it all. I try and get my system to sound great with everything, not just the most perfect sources. Life is too short.
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  13. #13

    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    If the music and its emotional pull on the soul could only be derived from and enjoyed on, a top notch recording being played on a mega buck system, it would be inaccessible to 99.9% of the population and would cease to exist.

    If you love music, a transistor radio in the garage will connect you with your favorite song. I have had many of those nirvana moments. Or it could have been the paint fumes... Hard to say.
    Serge

  14. #14

    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Quote Originally Posted by joeinid View Post
    I listen to music, not MQA. I even stream 320kbps music and thoroughly enjoy it too. Iím not one to obsess about only the highest quality streams. I listen to it all. I try and get my system to sound great with everything, not just the most perfect sources. Life is too short.
    This has nothing to do with obsessing Joe, itís about having choices. When I pull up an album on Roon, it shows me every available version with 16/44.1 being the lowest bit depth and sampling rate. All the available versions of a given album donít sound the same.
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  15. #15
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    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Iíve heard good bad and good MQA. Open to all formats and donít take a hard stance on the very emotional topic for some.

    Iíve heard good and bad SACD, DSD, DXD, ... itís not about the format; itís about the performance, engineering and mastering.
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  16. #16
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    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    I subscribe to Qobuz because I'd rather have or listen to the unmolested original file.
    But I've also purchased up to a half dozen MQA cd's for albums that there is likely no better mastering.
    So I fall into the camp of most likely wanting my next DAC/player to have MQA.
    Given a choice, I see no reason to support MQA.
    Christian

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  17. #17
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    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    I revolt against the monopolistic money grab that is MQA. I choose Qobuz and buying (and ripping) my own media. It gives me freedom of choice on DACs and knowledge I am not paying blackmail to the MQA gods.

    Besides, Qobuz is cheaper than Tidal!

  18. #18
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    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Since nobody else posted this yet, this video comes down pretty hard on MQA. The author submitted his own tracks to MQA which got published to Tidal and then he analyzed them versus the original files; I found the entire length pretty interesting. One of the more serious accusations is that the majority of MQA on Tidal are 44.1 files, not hi-res, and that MQA just upsamples them so that the end user thinks they are a real hi-res file

    I published music on Tidal to test MQA - MQA Review - YouTube

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  19. #19
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    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Great stuff. Thanks for sharing. I can see MQA imploding in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...
    Adam

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  20. #20

    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rnrmf View Post
    Since nobody else posted this yet, this video comes down pretty hard on MQA. The author submitted his own tracks to MQA which got published to Tidal and then he analyzed them versus the original files; I found the entire length pretty interesting. One of the more serious accusations is that the majority of MQA on Tidal are 44.1 files, not hi-res, and that MQA just upsamples them so that the end user thinks they are a real hi-res file

    I published music on Tidal to test MQA - MQA Review - YouTube

    I think that many of us have suspected shenanigans were taking place with "hi-rez" files of all stripes. It would be great if we ever learned the truth about the actual percentage of so called "hi-rez" files are what they purport to be vice the number of "hi-rez" files that have been upsampled.
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  21. #21
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    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    This will be fun to follow.

  22. #22

    MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rnrmf View Post
    Since nobody else posted this yet, this video comes down pretty hard on MQA. The author submitted his own tracks to MQA which got published to Tidal and then he analyzed them versus the original files; I found the entire length pretty interesting. One of the more serious accusations is that the majority of MQA on Tidal are 44.1 files, not hi-res, and that MQA just upsamples them so that the end user thinks they are a real hi-res file

    I published music on Tidal to test MQA - MQA Review - YouTube

    Here we have visible, objective proof that MQA has been trying to fool everyone. Yet I bet that some folks will still continue to ďtrustĒ their ears instead of science. Like someone said earlier, it is ok to like or prefer whatever, but facts are facts.

  23. #23
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    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Surprised Youtube hasn't taken down the video, its a scorcher 😊.
    MQAs lawyers must be working furiously, Tidal did immediately yank the tracks.
    Funny stuff.

  24. #24
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    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoff View Post
    Yet I bet that some folks will still continue to ďtrustĒ their ears instead of science.
    Thats a default for the technically illiterate, not a choice. However, why shouldn't they listen to what they prefer, in this case a healthy dose of unauthentic aliasing distortion added, if that's what they prefer, regardless of the marketing nonsense they believe?
    This is yet another case of it it sounds better to you, enjoy it. But beware of touting "objective" crutches, to avoid looking silly.

    cheers,

    AJ

  25. #25
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    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    The video makes a point to vindicate Neil Young for pulling his albums from Tidal a month or two ago; I think some people might have interpreted this as NY being cranky or having an ulterior motive, but it's a valid point if the MQA version of his albums were smoke and mirrors
    Christian

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  26. #26

    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoff View Post
    Here we have visible, objective proof that MQA has been trying to fool everyone. Yet I bet that some folks will still continue to ¬ďtrust¬Ē their ears instead of science. Like someone said earlier, it is ok to like or prefer whatever, but facts are facts.
    Ahem... Yeah, I can name many more obvious items in audio besides MQA.

    This hobby has always been part science and artesian art of crafting good sounding, good measuring, scientifically backed designs and part "Having tea with the Mad Hatter, Alice in Wonderland, type of approach from some others".

    I don't believe MQA was intended to fool anyone, it was "perhaps" a good approach as a lossy encoding to prove that it can both save bandwidth and storage while proving that Bob Stuart has "figured out" what the human ear can and cannot appreciate. Then again he was always doing things his own way and certainly the licensing fees didn't hurt!

    MQA is insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Spotify has over 155 Million subscribers while Tidal has 3 Million, so unless MQA is adapted by other platforms, chances are it will remain a very small, niche, concept that is only relevant to a handful of audiophiles, myself NOT included. I'm very happy with Qobuz and no MQA.
    Serge

  27. #27
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    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    MQA is insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Spotify has over 155 Million subscribers while Tidal has 3 Million, so unless MQA is adapted by other platforms, chances are it will remain a very small, niche, concept that is only relevant to a handful of audiophiles, myself NOT included. I'm very happy with Qobuz and no MQA.
    Insignificant in those terms, yes, but one of the points was that it hurts audiophiles overall because of the added cost of licensing MQA decoding in gear that implements it and which, by and large, is added due to vocal customer demand. I think the video or comments or something I read yesterday after watching the video claimed that MQA adds 20% to the cost of a device. That seems steep to me and I don't take that at face value but it's an interesting perspective.

    I'm interested in gear that implements it even though I don't subscribe to Tidal; at best I have a handful of MQA compact discs that offer novel and good remastering compared to what else is available. Of course I think all these remastered compact discs that I've bought are mastered to DSD first and the fact they aren't offered on SACD from the start is irritating. I'd pick the SACD over the MQA disc all day if I had the choice.
    Christian

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  28. #28
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    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Does seem its fate is tied to Tidal and this certainly wont help adoption on other platforms.
    Btw, Neil Young is cranky. Just happens to be right on this one.

    cheers,

    AJ

  29. #29
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    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Iím just glad that every week we get additional MQA titles to choose from. New music every week. New manufacturers adding capability to their gear. New sources to purchase downloads from.

    Must be crappy lives for all these individuals who arenít happy unless jumping from site to site arguing about MQA, benefits of power cords, whether switches impact sound, etc.
    Jim

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  30. #30

    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Crankiness comes from realizing that hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent on gear and music only to realize that which was obvious from day one to others... MQA sounds worse and one does not need a few hundred thousand dollars of gear to figure that out. Only a good pair of ears...
    Serge

  31. #31

    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    All of this is pointless anyway. In the end, as is almost always the case with audiophiles, no one will be convinced. The side of MQA non believers will not go out of their way to warm up to it and the MQA followers will simply call this guy a "quack" just like the guy who built a cable comparator to show that cables do not pass the signal any differently from each other. I forgot who that guy was already but I thought that was an interesting and logical way to prove a point.
    Serge

  32. #32
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    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    Crankiness comes from realizing that hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent on gear and music only to realize that which was obvious from day one to others... MQA sounds worse and one does not need a few hundred thousand dollars of gear to figure that out. Only a good pair of ears...
    I agree that's how I heard it on my system.
    To subjectively prefer how MQA sounds is one thing and it's certainly possible that MQA could sound better on one's system but I can imagine there are some people that won't want to admit that the source they prefer or have championed is technically inferior on multiple levels.
    Christian

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  33. #33

    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rnrmf View Post
    I agree that's how I heard it on my system.
    To subjectively prefer how MQA sounds is one thing and it's certainly possible that MQA could sound better on one's system but I can imagine there are some people that won't want to admit that the source they prefer or have championed is technically inferior on multiple levels.
    As I have mentioned multiple times in various threads, we don't have a definitive standard to go by. There is no more of a bullseye to aim for with this hobby than there is admiring and comparing/contrasting the Mona Lisa to The Last Supper and arguing over which is more "perfect"?

    The moment in space and time when the instruments first played a note and made a sound is gone and forever replaced by some version of it that is less than perfect. To the musically untrained ears, or even the trained ears, we have very little idea what constitutes accurate representation of that sound, how it actually sounded in that acoustic space by comparison to that what we are hearing the moment our system plays it back.

    Logic dictates it can never sound the same. Two very different acoustic spaces, all the various processes involved with recording and mastering, not to mention all the variables involved with hundreds of feet of various cables/components if we are to believe they all make a difference? All that before it is even packaged on a music disc, vinyl or a digital file ready to be consumed and played over various systems in various rooms.

    Then we add all the trickery and origami folding and unfolding of MQA on top of that...


    So is it the Mona Lisa or The Last Supper that is "technically" a better painting?
    Serge

  34. #34

    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    The good news is that people have a choice. There are people who love them some MQA like Still One, and there are others that hear it and know something is wrong. You get to choose whether you want to listen to MQA or not.
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  35. #35
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    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post

    So is it the Mona Lisa or The Last Supper that is "technically" a better painting?
    Agreed again, but it's probably more accurate to describe the comparison as between the Mona Lisa and some version (copy?) of the Mona Lisa as opposed to the Mona Lisa vs The Last Supper
    Christian

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  36. #36

    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    The good news is that people have a choice. There are people who love them some MQA like Still One, and there are others that hear it and know something is wrong. You get to choose whether you want to listen to MQA or not.
    Choices are definitely a good thing. One can chose to eat organic or one can choose to eat McDonalds... There are health benefits and there are simple taste preferences and habits that outweigh concerns over health for some.

    We can certainly measure things, we can can certainly say measurements do or do not matter in audio (depending on whether the measurements support or do not support the argument or desired results)

    If enjoying music is the desired goal from this hobby, it can be achieved on many different levels, with and certainly without MQA.


    Some have young, fresh ears that still hear out to 20Khz, many do not... We still only have 2-4 seconds of audible memory built into us so things will certainly sound a bit different upon swapping things but hey, it is all part of the fun. The accessorizing, upgrading, planning, dreaming, working towards some goals, achieving, only to continue the process tirelessly and seemingly endlessly is perhaps the beauty and the allure of virtually any hobby or passion out there.

    If the gear is a big part of the hobby as it is for most audiophiles, so be it, it is what it is. Many own Porsche, Corvette, Ferrari, not many can drive like Walter RŲhrl... Many audiophiles enjoy a good sound and great gear, not everyone is a musician with pitch perfect hearing.
    Serge

  37. #37

    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rnrmf View Post
    Agreed again, but it's probably more accurate to describe the comparison as between the Mona Lisa and some version (copy?) of the Mona Lisa as opposed to the Mona Lisa vs The Last Supper
    Both were painted by Leonardo Da Vinci, created some 8 years apart. I'm sure he used different brushes, different paint, different canvas, he was in a different mood, the light was different, at 1.3 Million miles per hour, the Milky Way Galaxy had traveled over 91 Billion miles further into space. It definitely was not the same space and time by then... Of course one can paint a copy, that copy would then be gauged for accuracy to the original. How do we do that with audio?

    So which one of Da Vinci's creations is the technically more correct painting? It is all very subjective, NO?

    Perhaps that can never be the right question to ask? Surely they are to be admired all within the context of itself, like any other masterpiece painting or sculpture?

    Perhaps our own approach to audio should be similar? Enjoy that which you have created on your end, without having to compare it for accuracy to the actual creation and birth of that musical moment in the studio? We certainly like to use the accuracy argument in this hobby
    Serge

  38. #38

    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    The very paradox of high end audio, is that it should be impossible to capture the original sound without having affected and therefore changed it.

    If the main argument and design philosophy of audio gear is such that "everything changes sound", then we have come to the conclusion, the "perfect recording" and "perfect reproduction" can never be achieved?

    Well, in that case my friends, enjoy whatever you like with whatever flavor you have created with your system.

    That would be my conclusion and is the very philosophy by which I have gained tremendous satisfaction out of my system without having to worry about such trivial things as whether power cords or switches change my streaming music files sound... or which amplifier or new pair of speakers can get me closer to some elusive and unobtainable perfection. But I get the desire to constantly upgrade, been there myself.
    Serge

  39. #39
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    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    Crankiness comes from realizing that hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent on gear and music only to realize that which was obvious from day one to others... MQA sounds worse and one does not need a few hundred thousand dollars of gear to figure that out. Only a good pair of ears...
    Keep on telling yourself it sounds worse. That doesnít make it correct.
    Jim

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  40. #40

    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Quote Originally Posted by still-one View Post
    Keep on telling yourself it sounds worse. That doesnít make it correct.
    The opposite could be said too.
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  41. #41

    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Quote Originally Posted by still-one View Post
    Keep on telling yourself it sounds worse. That doesnít make it correct.
    Jim, I don't have to convince myself one way or the other anymore. I have long ago settled that argument by sitting down and comparing MQA on Tidal to Qobuz with Roon. I still have both Tidal and Qobuz.

    My ears did not agree with most of MQA. I used various genres of music and MQA was only a bit more entertaining with certain genres that benefited from what is perceived as more energy and drive from most electronic, rock and some pop music. Genres that I listen to less often. On my favorite Jazz and Blues, as well as some classical music, the perceived artificial edginess of MQA was more of a hinderance than a benefit with a less natural presentation. On a casual listen, when comparing blind, the Qobuz will come across as a more laid back and flat presentation that is lacking the sparkle, even on the high resolution/bit depth material. That of course is the more natural presentation vs the MQA artificialness to my ears.

    Enjoy MQA of course if that is your thing and it bring you closer to your favorite music. There is no harm in it and all these comparisons are purely subjective indeed. The fact that MQA is lossy, obviously can be analyzed and proven to be "different" sounding, does not mean one cannot still enjoy it.
    Serge

  42. #42

    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Expectation bias is likely at play here.

    Some folks buy into MQA. They subjectively listen and believe to hear or perceive amazing sound.

    Likewise some folks see the objective test results that show that MQA is lacking; that it is not bit-perfect; it is flawed, etc. Then they listen to MQA and... they agree that it is flawed.

    Has the objective tests, biased that individual? Perhaps, but unlike the folks that base everything on what they hear, the objectivists are backed by actual results to prove it.

    It is hard to argue against facts.

  43. #43
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    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    What I find interesting is that the HT world has had proprietary lossy codecs in DD and DTS seemingly forever. No conspiracy theories, no DD sounds bad, no DD ruins the dialog, no DD is watermarking. No DD is taking over the world and must be stopped. Maybe some comparisons between DD and DTS. Thatís it. Nary a contrarian peep out of anybody. Is it the market itself? Or the people who participate in it? Dunno.
    Tom

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  44. #44

    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    So for all the MQA believers, is there really any ďAĒ left in MQA? If so, how did Mark Waldrepís files end up on Tidal before he authenticated them? I also learned this morning that the major labels that are participating in MQA actually have their own MQA encoders which means they are inputting their own digital files to the MQA encoder and outputting an MQA file. Itís just another revenue stream for them.

    In order to believe a lossy format represents a serious improvement to digital audio and that MQA is everything it was purported to be, you have to still believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.
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  45. #45
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    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Quote Originally Posted by W9TR View Post
    What I find interesting is that the HT world has had proprietary lossy codecs in DD and DTS seemingly forever. No conspiracy theories, no DD sounds bad, no DD ruins the dialog, no DD is watermarking. No DD is taking over the world and must be stopped. Maybe some comparisons between DD and DTS. Thatís it. Nary a contrarian peep out of anybody. Is it the market itself? Or the people who participate in it? Dunno.
    Really?? Ever heard of DTS-HD Master Audio or Dolby TrueHD?
    Rob
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  46. #46
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    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Quote Originally Posted by AJ Soundfield View Post
    Surprised Youtube hasn't taken down the video, its a scorcher 😊.
    MQAs lawyers must be working furiously, Tidal did immediately yank the tracks.
    Funny stuff.
    It's pretty difficult to sue or block if the content is valid
    Rob
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  47. #47
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    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Quote Originally Posted by W9TR View Post
    What I find interesting is that the HT world has had proprietary lossy codecs in DD and DTS seemingly forever. No conspiracy theories, no DD sounds bad, no DD ruins the dialog, no DD is watermarking. No DD is taking over the world and must be stopped. Maybe some comparisons between DD and DTS. Thatís it. Nary a contrarian peep out of anybody. Is it the market itself? Or the people who participate in it? Dunno.
    here is why there are no protests over object based dsp multi-channel codecs such as Dolby Atmos (Dolby True HD). it does not hold itself up as a better, more pure version of 2-channel. it's completely honest that it's about making for a completely different thing. and more suited to support video, whether music or movies. and it's not 2 channel, it's 7.1.4, or 9.3.6, or even more channels......with heavy doses of dsp.

    so it's not going down the road of MQA and passing itself off as an improved version of straight up digital 2 channel. which to my ears MQA mostly fails at in my system. i don't hate it, but i also don't think it has much value. i've yet to find a native digital file of any recording that is not equal or better than the MQA file. MQA adds nothing positive to the original file.

    all that said, i can be perfectly happy with MQA files.....if the original is not handy.

  48. #48

    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Quote Originally Posted by W9TR View Post
    What I find interesting is that the HT world has had proprietary lossy codecs in DD and DTS seemingly forever. No conspiracy theories, no DD sounds bad, no DD ruins the dialog, no DD is watermarking. No DD is taking over the world and must be stopped. Maybe some comparisons between DD and DTS. Thatís it. Nary a contrarian peep out of anybody. Is it the market itself? Or the people who participate in it? Dunno.
    Could it be that lossy, DSP, and multi-channel are over hyped by the 2-channel folks? MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.
    How can a YouTube video with low resolution audio be more enjoyable and engaging than a high-resolution audio? MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.
    Could it be that high resolution audio is way overrated?

  49. #49
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    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoff View Post
    ...
    Could it be that high resolution audio is way overrated?
    No. But it is rarely shown to its best effect with most of today's masterings and remasterings.
    Rob
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  50. #50

    Re: MQA: That Sounds Good. To Me.

    PS. Based on what I know, the HT world does not stress about fancy cables, or expensive power cords, etc.

    The HT world rely on objective tests to make sure that the image is correct (gamma adjustment, etc, etc). In other words, measurable and objective tests.

    Thatís very unlike the 2-channel audio that rely on subjective ďmy-ears-tell-me thisĒ stuff.

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